Statement from the group of lawyers of Mr. Leonid Chernovetskyi
Yesterday, the media widely spread the news that Mr. Chernovetskyi LM, allegedly, is hiding from the investigation, as a result the latter was put on the wanted list by the Security Service of Ukraine. This, in turn, forces the defense team to disclose information about the actual circumstances of the case.
As it is well known to law enforcement agencies, the search for a person is justified if they have no information about his present location, and they cannot conduct the necessary procedural actions with his participation.
In this particular case, the investigator is not only reliably aware of the fact that Mr. Chernovetskyi L.M. has not been residing on the territory of Ukraine for the last 6 years, but also aware on what exact address with participation of Mr. Chernovetskyi he can conduct any necessary procedural actions. If there is, of course, a real interest in the investigation. Such information has been at the disposal of the Prosecutor’s General Office of Ukraine for almost two months.
Mr. Chernovetskyi L.M. could not be put on the wanted list also because, he basically does not have the procedural status of the suspect, since suspicion, and namely it, we believe, was sent about two weeks ago in the framework of international cooperation, has not been received by him so far.
The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine without any grounded reason does not provide any possibility for the defense team to review the documents.
At the same time, all of the above did not prevent the Prosecutor’s General Office of Ukraine from publicly appointing Mr. Chernovetskyi L.M. being “suspected”, grossly violating the presumption of innocence and giving the defense team good reasons for preparing an appeal to international authorities.
There is also no reasonable explanation for the fact that the decision on the national search for Mr. Chernovetskyi, L.M. was enforced after the Prosecutor’s office having received reliable information about his exact address. What purpose is pursued by the Prosecutor’s office via involving a massive apparatus on the territory of Ukraine to search a person, who is known to be residing outside the country, remains a mystery to the defense team.
We have already asked the investigator and the prosecutor to correct the mistake made, but to date, no measures have been taken to comply with the requirements of the law, unfortunately, that forces us to take response measures.
Also the bewilderment of defense team is elicited by the fact that the juridical proceedings in relation to Mr. Chernovetskyi L.M have been suspended. It turns out that for today the Prosecutor’s office already believes that all the necessary evidence on the case is collected on the territory of Ukraine. At the same time, in the documents provided by the Prosecutor’s office to the court, such wordings as “by unidentified persons”, “in an unidentified place”, “under unidentified circumstances” are prevalent, which does not give the impression of completeness of the investigation conducted.
In this connection, the questions are set to the real interest of the Prosecutor’s office in conducting the investigation in principle.
Media accompaniment of the suspended case where the investigation is not carried out, in turn, is actively continuing. The defense team has already asked the court to assess the legality and validity of the decision to suspend the investigation and expects its fair consideration.
We hope very much that the investigator and the prosecutor remain procedurally independent, are not subjected to pressure from third parties, and, in the end, will conduct their actions in accordance with the requirements of the law.
At the same time, in case of continuation of systemic violations, the defense team will be compelled to apply for help to international bodies with a request to properly respond to the facts highlighting the illegal persecution of Mr. Chernovetskyi L.M. and the application of selective justice to him.
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